Local Liberal Democrats have accused the Conservatives of brazen hypocrisy after the Prime Minister praised Cheltenham’s Tory MP for attending a charity that helps people suffering due to government cuts.
Theresa May last night tweeted that Alex Chalk was a long-term supporter of Cheltenham Open Door, along with a photograph of the MP stirring a pot of food.
As an MP In Parliament Mr Chalk has supported his party making swingeing cuts to support for vulnerable people, including: housing benefit for young people, the payments to disabled people and grants to the bereaved, as well as the disastrous impact of the rollout of universal credit.
Cheltenham Borough Council deputy leader Councillor Peter Jeffries (Liberal Democrat, Springbank) said: “Cheltenham Open Door is a brilliant local charity doing important work and it has everyone’s support - that goes without saying.
“But, as our MP, Alex has voted for cuts to welfare that force more and more people into using facilities like Open Door.
“The fact that he then goes along to congratulate staff does not make his actions in the voting lobbies right.
“In fact, it highlights the contradiction at the heart of Conservative politics and the publicity photograph stinks of brazen hypocrisy.
“On top of that, I don’t think local people will appreciate the Prime Minister politicising local charities that have been supported by people from all political backgrounds for many years.”
Questions have also been raised about the Prime Minister’s claim that Mr Chalk is a ‘long-term supporter’ of Open Door.
The MP moved to Cheltenham in 2014 and his first visit to the charity is thought to have taken place after his election in 2015 - three years ago.